One of patriotic immigration reform’s greatest triumphs came in November 2014 when Oregon’s deep blue voters defeated Measure 88 which proposed to give state identification cards in the form of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Further emphasizing the win’s magnitude: 35 of Oregon’s 36 counties and every congressional district, mostly solidly Democratic, voted to overturn SB 833, the 2013 bill that directed the Department of Transportation to issue driver cards to aliens if they had lived in the state for a year and met certain other conditions.
|Oregonians overwhelmingly rejected legislation to give aliens driver’s licenses.|
Most of the credit for the stunning victory goes to Cynthia Kendoll and her Protect Oregon Driver Licenses (PODL) website supporters that include law enforcement officers and elected officials. Just days before the November election at the Social Contract’s Writers’ Workshop in Washington, D.C., Kendoll explained the hurdles she faced, including being outspent 10-1. Watch Kendoll here as she outlines the steps her group took to file a veto referendum that eventually overturned SB 833.
But a year later, the Oregon Law Center, acting on behalf of five anonymous aliens, filed a lawsuit against the state and claimed that PODL voter referendum is racist because it discriminates against Mexicans and Central Americans and is therefore unconstitutional.
Here’s how Mexican illegal alien day laborer and 27-year U.S. resident Gustavo Recarde sees it: “If an illegal [can] get a driver’s license, it would be better because there’s more opportunities to find a job as a driver.”
Recarde, oblivious to the fact that it’s illegal for aliens to hold jobs, thinks racism played a part in Measure 88’s defeat. Kendoll, however, insists that Oregonians were motivated to deny aliens driver’s licenses in order to strengthen national security and to protect local workers from job displacement.
Legal expert Norm Williams, an associate dean for academic affairs at the Willamette University College of Law, says the suit has little probability of success, stating, “Federal judges are very hesitant to strike down state statutes on constitutional grounds.”
PODL’s big win proves that when voters have a say about whether to grant illegal immigrants entitlements like driver’s licenses, they come down in favor of enforcement. State legislatures in California and 11 other states have approved driving bills without voter input.